{ hope. love. faith }

Stephanie's amazing life story continues to bring me to tears. Joyful tears. Sad tears. Hopeful tears. Tears reminding me how very lucky I am. Tears to remind me to treasure every single moment of this life. Every moment.

It also reminds me the importance of faith. Because she sure has a lot of it. I don't talk about religion or spirituality or faith here very much, not because I don't have a lot to say on the topic (I do) and not because it can be controversial but because I am still searching for spiritual enlightenment. I have faith. I meditate. I was raised in a family where Sundays were days for family & football but not church. I only go to church on Christmas Eve where Silent Night brings me to tears. I am not a huge fan of organized religion, yet I am awed at its power and its sense of community. I attend Sangha, a buddhist spiritual practice whenever I feel my soul calling for it. I love that the Dalai Lama says his religion is that of kindness. I listen patiently (most of the time) to the Jehovah Witnesses that come to our door. I am inspired my my Mormon friends for their community of faith and commitment to the temple. I love that Zen Buddhists emphasis is on developing one's ability to be present.

But I find myself not praying enough. Not seeking enough. In fact, to be entirely truthful other than prayers while flying that go along the line of "Dear God, please don't let this plane I'm on crash. My children need me. Please keep us all safe," and a heartfelt thank you when we safely land, that's about it for praying. I also pray when I hear of a friend or stranger in need, but not consistently. And still not enough. As my children get older, I want to encourage them to explore all aspects of religion and spirituality and to seek enlightenment wherever they may find that (in a church or on top of a mountain). I want them to have faith. And to have love. And to have kindness for all beings on this planet. And I'd like them to have a spiritual community they can turn to. And that means I have to keep seeking that for myself as well. So that is one of my aspirations for the new year. To continue to seek and learn. { See, I told you her story makes me all sappy & emotional.... ;) }


Anonymous said...

I have only recently been reading NieNie. I too am at awe of her faith and perseverance. (although, I didn't like the naked picture of her boys today - tmi) Faith is interesting thing. I am now just taking my faith deeper than ever before. I have started a morning prayer journal. I just pray/write about whatever is on my mind. I forget to pray during the day. Or, if I do they are short little prayers. My prayer journal is where I lay it all out. Maybe you could start that in the new year. You will find your faith. I believe that with faith (God) all things are possible.

yoga training: www.pacificyoga.com

karen said...

I absolutely love this post. I love how open & honest you are about your feelings toward religion/spirituality. I hope to raise my boys with the same sort of attitude...questioning what they need to, and having faith in things unseen. I've found that in my family morning, mealtime, evening, and individual prayers are what make my family the closest; and I know that through those prayers we are protected. The world is a frightening place sometimes, but I know that as I incorporate the same things you want to teach your children into my life, that my boys will grow up into truly amazing individuals. THANK YOU so much for sharing.